Professor Jean-Francois Arnal

Jean-Francois Arnal, MD, PhD, INSERM, Toulouse, France

By developing unique mouse models, JF Arnal demonstrated that the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), but not ERβ, is absolutely necessary for most of the arterial and metabolic actions of 17β-estradiol (E2). But estrogens also elicit deleterious effects by raising the risk of breast cancer and of thrombosis and limiting use of classic estrogens in oral contraception and menopausal hormone replacement.

At INSERM U1048, his team dissected for the first time in vivo the respective roles of the two independent ERα activation functions, AF-1 and AF-2, as well as that of the plasma membrane ERα, revealing the highly tissue-specific roles of nuclear and membrane actions of ERα in uterus and arteries, respectively.

Their aim is now to help to optimize the Selective Modulation of ER using a fetal SERM (estetrol) or hormone combinations (estrogens plus SERM) to promote the beneficial but not deleterious actions through the combined efforts of a network of academic and industrial collaborations.